Cravens Pool designs nearly complete

·2 min read

May 26—Designs for Cravens Pool are nearly complete and are being reviewed for issues before being released publicly, parks Director Amanda Rogers said Thursday.

The plans for the new pool include lengthening the pool on both ends and adding a "zero depth" entry for small children, Rogers said.

Cravens Pool has not been open since 2019. Both Cravens and Combest pools were closed during the pandemic, and Cravens was found to have numerous issues that prevented it from being reopened without repairs.

City commissions allocated America Rescue Plan Act funds to repair and modernize the pool.

Combest Pool on McJohnson Avenue opens for the season Saturday. Rogers said Combest Pool is in good shape, although she would like to look at adding features at Combest once work at Cravens Pool is complete.

Rogers said officials checking the Cravens Pool design want to make sure all of the planned features are doable before making the plan public.

"We have a design we are pretty set on," Rogers said. The plans are being checked so "if there's anything that is going to cause an issue, we'll come across that."

"I would hate to put something out to the public" and learn later the plan has to be changed, Rogers said.

Officials are readying construction documents with the intent of having work on the renovations begin in the fall, Rogers said.

"It's our goal to be open next summer," Rogers said. "We are in a pretty good position for that."

The pool design calls for a longer pool, with extensions on both ends.

The "zero depth" entry is for children and will allow them to walk gradually into the pool as opposed of stepping into the water from poolside, Rogers said.

"When you have a location that is focused on young children and families, that zero depth is important," she said.

There has been increased usage of Combest Pool since Cravens was prevented from reopening. Rogers said just under 11,000 people used Combest Pool last year, either through paid admissions, the use of free passes or through rentals. Another 400 people either took lessons at the pool or participated in the annual "Gone to the Dogs" event, where people bring their dogs to swim at the end of the season.

"That's pretty strong foot traffic for a 10-week window," Rogers said.

Combest Pool was renovated several years ago.

"We put some money and effort into the location to improve the life length of the location," Rogers said. "We have a wonderful public works crew to take care of the location."

In the future, after Cravens Pool is reopened, "I would like to add some additional amenities (to Combest Pool) to make it more interactive," Rogers said.